How Misconduct Charges Are Filed Against Physicians in New York and Other States

In NY, the Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC) has the power to file formal charges against a doctor based on a recommendation made by its investigative committee. Other states have similar organizations to monitor the actions of physicians.

Lawyers from the Department of Health (DOH) may be assigned certain matters for formal action; this way, they can review the case file the OPMC will have amassed on a doctor through its investigation. This way, the Office can prepare a formal statement of charges.

The OPMC may also try to work out consent agreements in order to settle the dispute without having to hold a formal hearing on the doctor’s case.

If the OPMC does file a formal statement of charges, it has to begin holding a hearing within 60 days. Before the hearing comes a discovery process, in which the Board for Professional Medical Conduct (BPMC) and the doctor who has been charged can get certain information from each other. There are four specific categories of information that can be discovered:

  1. A list of witnesses’ names (although  what they will testify to does not have to be shared);
  2. A list of the evidence that consists of documents;
  3. Photocopies of the documentary evidence on both sides; and
  4. A brief description of whatever evidence on both sides can’t be photocopied (e.g. physical evidence).

The hearing itself has to be conducted by a panel made up of three members of the BPMC—two doctors and one layperson.

The panel’s job is to examine the charges and the evidence and to hand down a decision as to the doctor’s guilt, as well as to recommend an appropriate penalty.

A DOH administrative law judge will issue rulings in response to all legal motions made during the hearing and will draft the panel’s final decision.

If you are a doctor against whom the OPMC has filed a formal statement of charges, or similar agency in another state, you should speak with an attorney who has experience in representing health professionals.

If you are a doctor against whom the OPMC has filed a formal statement of charges, then call our office at (212) 577-6677 to speak with our New York Professional Health Defense team.

Joseph Potashnik is a criminal defense and Professional License Defense Attorney based in New York City.

Joseph Potashnik & Associates
111 Broadway
Suite 901
New York, NY 10006
(212) 577-6677

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